The World Health Organization released their Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in November.  Gill Deacon of CBC Radio’s Here and Now spoke with exercise physiologist Martha Garrick from Propel Physiotherapy on her program on Tuesday, December 1 to ask her for tips on meeting the WHO physical activity guidelines.

Gill Deacon:

Guidelines from the World Health Organization suggest we might be doing that a little too much for the last eight or nine months. We need to move a lot more than we currently are. The WHO released a report late last week expressing concerns over a second pandemic of poor health resulting from all of our inactivity during this pandemic.

Martha Garrick is a clinical exercise physiologist  in Etobicoke and I spoke with her earlier. I asked her what would be the first step in getting the WHO recommended 2.5 hours of vigorous activity each week?

WHO Physical Activity Guidelines and Sedentary Behaviour

Martha Garrick:

You do little to do more. You start with your 5 minutes. As I tell some of my clients, just put some music on and just dance. The actions your doing will engage your intensity. So if you start by doing light intensity movements, that’s fine. You can work your way up to vigorous intensity within the time that you have set aside to do this.

Gill Deacon:

I guess the other question at the centre of all this is motivation. How do we find the motivation? It is easy to get into a bit of a slump. As you say, an element of depression can be impacted from a lack of physical activity. So how do we push through that and get motivated to get active and stay active consistently, especially through the winter months?

Martha Garrick:

Yes, I think one thing is you need to set a goal. Or try to get yourself into a routine. You can write it down.

Goal setting is an action plan designed to motivate and guide a person toward a specific goal.  It can help to focus attention and give direction to how a person is performing relative to their goal.  Setting short- and long-term goals can help to increase self confidence, enhance motivation, and improve performance

Try to be active throughout the whole day rather than set a certain time, if that doesn’t work for you.

Evidence suggests that even brief bouts of activity throughout the day can have positive effects.  One study found short physical activity breaks help to regulate blood glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels.[i]

Also engage your friends, your coworkers and family members to help you to do this. This way you are accountable to yourself or to someone else for doing some type of activity – be it a leisure activity or a structured activity during the day.  

Exercising next to a group of people that you feel comfortable around and are supportive of your success can be extremely encouraging. It motivates you to work your hardest and put forth your best effort every single class. 

You may also enjoy reading: The Benefits of Group Exercise

There are classes online and social media apps that you can use as those tools to help you be more active and then stay active.

Research indicates that virtual yoga therapy and mindfulness are just as beneficial to clients as in person sessions. At Propel Physiotherapy we offer virtual yoga therapy and mindfulness training services through a secure online platform. It can provide an opportunity for individuals to experience the many physical and mental health benefits of yoga and mindfulness from anywhere regardless of their abilities.

You may also enjoy reading: How Virtual Yoga Therapy & Mindfulness Can Benefit You More Than In Person Sessions

Listen to the full transcript here:

This interview originally aired on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Gill Deacon:

Yeah, I like that being accountable to someone else is a good motivation too. Thanks so much for the advice Martha. Martha Garrick is a clinical exercise physiologist in Etobicoke. I took my dog for a walk today and I actually posted on Instagram a little shot of his tail wagging in the snow. We have to take inspiration from our dogs perhaps. They show us how to keep moving in spite of this weather. And they are always someone that you have to be accountable to. Having a dog certainly keeps you moving around.

Here and Now is a daily Canadian radio show, which airs on CBLA in Toronto, Ontario from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Veteran journalist, author and award-winning broadcaster Gill Deacon is the host of the program.

Martha is passionate about helping her clients achieve their health and rehabilitation goals. She believes that by becoming more efficient in our day to day movements, we can significantly improve our quality of life. To achieve this, she helps people to increase overall strength and coordination and to incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyle.

Contact Martha to discuss how she can help you to meet the WHO physical activity guidelines or your personal fitness goals today!

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Propel Physiotherapy
Propel PhysiotherapyIntegrated Healthcare Team

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Martha Garrick
Martha GarrickCertified Exercise Physiologist
Martha is passionate about helping her clients achieve their health and rehabilitation goals. She believes that by becoming more efficient in our day to day movements, we can significantly improve our quality of life. To achieve this, she helps people to increase overall strength and coordination and to incorporate regular exercise into their lifestyle.

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